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Passenger rail service between AVL and HVL urged
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 12:13

From Staff Reports

HENDERSONVILLE — Larry Morton, president of the Apple Valley Model Railroad Club, is trying to drum up interest in passenger rail service between Asheville and Hendersonville. 

He envisions twice-daily service, Wednesday through Saturday, between the old depots in Hendersonville and Biltmore Village.

The train would run at 30 miles per hour, which, he says, is faster than driving.

 He recently ran his idea past Darl Farris, president of the Blue Ridge Southern Railroad, who said, “We wouldn’t be adverse to thinking about passenger service,” the Hendersonville Lightning reported.

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Wanda Greene fiasco: just how did it happen?
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 12:03
By JOHN NORTH
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Three Buncombe County officials  provided a history and update — and fielded questions — on problems in the county government that came to light following the retirement of long-time County Manager Wanda Greene during a Dec. 1 breakfast meeting of the Council of Independent Business Owners.

The address, titled “A Report on the State of Buncombe County – personnel issues –bonuses – compensation issues – investigations – etc.,” drew about 55 CIBO members and others to the early-morning meeting at UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center.

Giving the presentation were two county commissioners — Ellen Frost, a Democratc; and Mike Fryar, a Republican — and Lisa Eby, Buncombe’s human resources director.

Frost began by noting, “The question that everybody has is… How did all of this happen?

“I look around and see Mike Fryar and other people who had long relationships with our county manager.”

As for the problems with Greene, Frost said, “It was trust. it was complicitness.”

Frost noted that when Greene was questioned by various commissioners over the years, “we all received a resounding’no,’” discouraging further questioning.

 

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Mission Health, Blue Cross sign new pact after impasse
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 11:41

From Staff Reports

Mission Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina announced on Dec. 6 that they had reached an agreement.

The deal went into effect Dec. 15, ending a six-month dispute, Mission having publicly announced its intent to sever relations with BCBSNC in July if better contract terms could not be reached.

The standoff led to the termination of a contract that affected an estimated 260,000 people in Western North Carolina.

Effective Oct. 5, those insured by BCBSNC became out-of-network at Mission’s facilities. Mission operates six hospitals, CarePartners, Asheville Specialty Hospital, and several specialty practices. It runs the only Level II trauma center in the region.

Mission claimed it wanted a plan that rewarded it more for patient outcomes than the number of treatments administered.

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The Advice Goddess: January 2018
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 11:35

Teach a man to be soothing?

Q: — There’s always been an attraction between this guy and me. I’ve been thinking of testing the waters with him romantically, but he recently mentioned that he freaks out when women cry. He says he just has no idea what to do. Well, I’m an emotional person — generally happy but also a big crier. Are we a bad match, or could I teach him to soothe me? 
— Waterworks

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